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Trade unions to protest against ordnance factories’ corporatisation on August 27

PTI New Delhi | Updated on August 23, 2019 Published on August 23, 2019

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As many as 10 central trade unions on Friday announced that they will mark a protest on August 27 against corporatisation of ordnance factories and railways.

“We call upon all our affiliated unions and independent federations/associations to organise solidarity action programmes on August 27 throughout the country in support of striking defence employees and agitating railway employees,” the 10 unions said in a joint statement.

These unions are INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF and UTUC.

The unions in their meeting in the national capital on August 21 congratulated the defence employees for successful strike from August 20 in 41 ordnance factories (OF) against the Centre’s plans to corporatise and then to privatise them.

They said in the statement that this move of the government will put national security at risk and hence is anti-national.

The government wants these 41 Indian Ordnance Factories to produce ₹30,000 crore worth of goods by 2024. The unions have accepted the challenge, but want the government to assure them that the plans to corporatise the ordnance factories will be shelved.

The workmen in essential services like fire-fighting, water and electric supply, hospitals in the ordnance factories colonies have also struck work, but are back manning those services voluntarily, foregoing the salaries for the days of strikes.

This massive strike has been peaceful, except in West Bengal, where the oldest ordnance factories are situated. There are reports that the Police lathi-charged the striking workers, injuring scores of them, four seriously.

“We condemn this unprovoked lathi-charge. The CTUs call upon the Modi government to pay heed to the voice of these soldiers behind the lines, who have struck work not for any of their immediate financial demands but for guaranteeing the supply lines to our armed forces,” they said.

The government’s plans of corporatisation of ordnance factories will jeopardise just that guarantee. The unions also extended their support to the agitations being carried out for almost a month against the move of corporatisation of production units in railways with an eye on its huge lands and resources actually to pave the way for privatisation to benefit corporate houses.

It is heartening to note that the family members of the affected employees are also participating in these agitations, they said.

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Published on August 23, 2019
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